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Horseman Kit: An Evaluation Attempt

Discussion in 'Survival Games' started by DarkenExcalibur, Nov 10, 2019.

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Should Horseman be removed or nerfed?

  1. Removed

    2 vote(s)
    11.8%
  2. Nerfed

    7 vote(s)
    41.2%
  3. Kept the Same

    8 vote(s)
    47.1%
  4. Other (comment)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. After having a long discussion that has led to a number of misunderstandings, I have come to the conclusion that a separate thread needs to be created about the Horseman kit. Here I will attempt to give an evaluation of the kit which will hopefully move the discussion about petty complaining. If you are interested in the other discussion just go my other thread about "Changes to Mineplex SG" where you can view my back and forth with JMPhase and others on the subject.

    To finish with this once and for all, and to avoid this being "useless", I will explain what I have been trying to do. We have to ask ourselves the question: who is a kit unfair to?

    Is it unfair to the other players because they cannot be it? Is it unfair because the player using the kit always wins with it? What I have tried to give above are objective criteria by which we can decide whether a kit is unfair and thus should be removed or nerfed. JMPhase has said that "in the end, you have your opinion and I have mine.", but I have been providing a framework that is in itself objective and does not rely very much on opinion. That is why I am adamantly trying to put my put across.
    With this in mind, what criteria do I propose?
    I have given three possible reasons for thinking that a kit should be removed. These reasons are universal for any given kit:

    (1) The player using the kit has a huge advantage (irrespective of skill) over other kits
    (2) Players are too frequently exposed to the advantages of the kit
    (3) The advantages of the kit are too strong for players to deal with

    My claim has been that a kit is unfair when these conditions are met. I would argue that all at least two of the three statements have to be true in order for a kit to be removed or nerfed. Thus far, none of what I have said constitutes an opinion, these conditions seem to exhaust all places where a kit could be unfair. I will now proceed to explain what I mean by conditions (1)-(3) and apply them to the Horseman kit.

    (1) refers to the Win/Loss Ratio of players that use Horseman compared to other players. Now a post above mentions the fact that skill should not play a role in this comparison, and I agree. That is why we would need to compare the Win/Loss Ratio of players with similar levels of experience.

    My Opinion on (1)

    Personally, I think that it is unlikely that the Win/Loss Ratio of the Horsemen is higher than of any other kit (assuming a similar level of skill). I do not see much reason to think that this is really the case. An objector or person that believes that Horseman is unfair would have to provide the necessary empirical data to show that this is that case: Horseman is innocent until proven guilty after all! :)

    (2) refers to the frequency with which players are exposed to the "unfair" strategies of Horseman. Think of it this way, suppose that brawler every game threw 10 players off a cliff. Players would complain that this strategy is used too often on them and that brawler is unfair. The same principle applies to Horseman. Do players complain that they are very often exposed to the kit's "unfair" strategies? Now we have to be careful here. I am no asking how often the Horseman uses the "unfair strategies" inside of one game, but rather if we take a random game, how likely is it that a Horseman is in the game AND is using said strategies. If we look at it in this way, then it appears that because few players actually used Horseman, players are unlikely to be exposed to the "unfair strategies" of the kit. Now of what I have said about (2) is really opinion and should not be controversial at all.

    (3) This is a controversial condition. Condition (3) is what everyone has been arguing about and has consistently been bringing up in the posts above. However, conditions (1) and (2) have just been ignored which is why I have to keep repeating myself. I never wanted to keep posting replies but everyone keeps saying that when horseman does use its strategies, then are simply too overpowered! However, this is simply not the end of the story! Now I agree that the case for (3) is much stronger than for conditions (1) and (2). But I still think that at the end of the day, condition (3) does not enjoy as much support as is necessary.

    Setting up the framework for Condition (3)

    Let us recall what JMPhase wrote. I think he has given us a very clear guide on the advantages of Horseman:

    1) Running Away
    2) Being Chased
    3) Cleaning Up
    4) Bow Spamming

    These are the four areas where Horseman can be argued to give an "unfair" advantage when the Horseman is actually being deployed. I will approach these one-by-one and hopefully, we can reach some sort of consensus as a result. (Although it seems that our converser has given up, perhaps due to my lack of clarity, for which I apologize). Here we have to make an important point: these advantages must be unfair to other players in the game on the occasion when Horseman is actually deployed.
    This may be obvious but we need to avoid lapsing back into previous discussions.

    Therefore, bearing all that in mind, let us, again, think of some conditions which we could use to see if the advantages of Horseman are too great for other players to deal with:

    (1) Consequences on the behaviour of other players
    (2) Availability of counters
    (3) Likelihood of victory
    (4) Availability of use

    I think these four conditions cover everything nicely. Again, I have tried to make this as objective as possible so that the others above will stop complaining about how "useless" this discussion is. I will now explain what is meant by each of these points:
    (1) Consequences on the behaviour of other players refer to how other players in the game have to change their actions in order to avoid falling prey to the advantages of the Horseman kit.
    (2) Availability of counters refers to how other players can counter or block the advantages of the kit.
    (3) Likelihood of victory refers to how likely it is that a Horseman wins in a fight when he employs the above strategies.
    (4) Availability of use refers to how easy and how often it is that a Horseman is able to use or employ the above-listed strategies.

    Evaluation of each Strategy

    I think that everyone reading this will see where we are going we these conditions. What I will do now is to look see how strong each of the Horseman's advantages are by using the four conditions that I have explained:

    [1] Running Away - I take this to mean that Horseman can quickly evacuate a battlefield and avoid getting killed much more easily than other kits. This is an obvious consequence of having a horse and thus an integral part of the Horseman Kit.
    (i) What are the consequences of this advantage? Well, for the most part, this makes Horsemen more difficult to kill. Obviously these players must get off the Horse at some point and they may be forced to treck on foot on more closed parts of maps. It seems to me that this advantage does not affect behaviour too much because an injured Horseman is unlikely to be able to do you much damage. Are there any counters to this? Perhaps one could argue that the Archer or Bomber kits could counter some of this advantage since they have decent ranged abilities. Next, does it lead to victory in fights? It could because you could run away, heal up and then return to the fight. However, since regeneration rates are similar, this would only be a problem if there were other strategies employed simultaneously by the Horseman. Clearly, this is a major part of being a Horseman and is readily available. I think that having this advantage is not too severe on its own and its strength is comparable to the other advantages of other kits.

    [2] Being Chased and Cleaned Up - I have put these together because they are somewhat similar. Think about a situation where you have been fighting or are just running around the map. Suddenly a Horseman appears and starts attacking you in a blink of an eye! This is a clearly annoying situation to deal with. Here we have to make another important point. Previously, I would have responded that this is not really a problem because (i) you are more likely to be cleaned up by other players, (ii) Horseman rarely appears on the scene. Although I think these are relevant points, I have to set them aside because they have already been considered when we discussed the main condition (2). For this section, we are assuming that Horseman has, in fact, appeared on the scene, and thus the points should be set aside. Therefore, given that Horseman has appeared, what does it mean for our 4 conditions? Well, player behaviour is actually unchanged since in all situation we have to run away to avoid being cleaned! What about the availability of counters? I don't see very many, but again I think that that is a common trait of all cleaning situations. What about the likelihood of success? Well, for many the problem lies with this one. It seems to me that if Horseman is trying to clean you, then clean he will, and there is not much you can do about it! Here I think comes a difficulty. The strategy of cleaning works well if Horseman is actually around to clean you! Here we have to think about how many times does a Horseman clean? Well, here I think comes the first difficulty for the argument because even if you are on a Horse because the game moves really fast these days, you are probably not going to have to opportunity to clean anyone! Hypothetically, cleaning is a problem but the new game mechanics have meant that there is little room for cleaning. I think that the limited use of compasses has also contributed to the reduction of cleaning by Horseman, therefore I think that the availability of use is somewhat limited. Therefore, since finding people has become harder, strategy [2] is not that severe, although it does constitute a big advantage of using Horseman kit. However, this advantage does not go over the advantages enjoyed by other kits.

    [3] Bow spamming - this one is more interesting because we are introducing skill into the equation. An unexperienced Horseman user or simply a good player who is not good with a bow is probably not going to enjoy this advantage very much! However, let us evaluate it anyway. What are the consequences on behaviour? Well, it means that players are more likely to seek shelter or are forced to do a bit of dodging. I don't think that behaviour changes much over what you would have to do to avoid the Archer kit. There are some obvious counters to this strategy - do not be careless, watch your surroundings and dodge the arrows! You could also shoot back! The next two conditions are difficult to evaluate because skill is again involved. Obviously, if the Horseman is successful at hitting you with 2-3 arrows, then you are at a severe disadvantage in the melee fight. But if you are up against a player who misses all their shoots then bow spamming is not really a problem. Therefore I conclude that this advantage must be limited or constrained by the level of skill of the player.

    Overall, condition (3) is the one that is the most controversial and can be discussed further. I think that my four conditions offer a nice platform for discussion, but at the end of the day, the main problem with Horseman seems to be with the moment when all the strategies come into play simultaneously. I think that I have shown above that each does not really offer something overwhelming but collectively they do form a serious combination of strength. That being said, the lowest common denominator seems to be the skill and experience of the Horseman user. I think therefore that condition (3) is only met when the skill level of the Horseman user is high, otherwise, no problems are associated with the kit.

    Evaluating condition (1)-(3)

    To conclude consider my conditions again and see whether they are met:
    (1) The player using the kit has a huge advantage (irrespective of skill) over other kits - not met
    (2) Players are too frequently exposed to the advantages of the kit - not met
    (3) The advantages of the kit are too strong for players to deal with - met with probability p*

    *p
    is the probability that the Horseman user is an experienced player who is very skilled with both using a Horse and using the bow.

    Therefore I conclude that if p > 0.5, then we have some ground for thinking that Horseman can be unfair. However and I hope that you will agree with me, the probability that there is an extremely good player using Horseman is lower than 0.5 even if only good players unlock the Horseman kit. Thus I think that Horseman kit should not be nerfed or removed. Some may object and say the probability should play no part in kits but that gratuitously assumes that the extremely good players with 1500+ wins should be considered part of the normal player base. I think that they could make any kit overpowered!

    Warning: do not foolishly assume that because condition (3) is met a small percentage of the time that this means that Horseman is automatically OP. I think that at least two conditions must be met for such a conclusion to be drawn.

    Changes:

    That being said, I think that the following changes could reduce the advantage of Horseman:
    (1) Remove Chest Tiering System
    (2) Reduce spawn rate of bows/arrows in chests
    (3) Reduce Horseman speed by 25%

    Hopefully, that answers some of the remarks made by JMPhase and others. My claim is therefore not that improbability justifies the kit as you have often pointed out but rather that it refutes condition (2) that I have presented. Hopefully, this now makes things clearer for all and I hope this moves the discussion away from complaining about the ways in which Horseman is too OP. Most discussion is rightly around condition (3) and I hope that my criteria will make it easier to formulate more informed insights on the kit.
     
    Posted Nov 10, 2019
  2. I think it’s a good idea to make it nerfed. It is very unfair to players that don’t have the kit but want to get the kit but I think we should nerf it a little bit because we don’t want it to be useless or too weak so I’ll be giving this idea a +0.5
     
    Posted Nov 10, 2019
  3. I agree that horseman is not OP. I've never had any particular issue fighting them, and I actually started using it when all these nerf threads started popping up and found that it's really only good if people try to run from you. When they actually try to stand and fight, if they have half decent aim or a rod, you lose. I wouldn't really be against a small nerf such as horse health just to satiate all these people who think it's op, but I think it's unnecessary and fine as is. I've never actually encountered a horseman using a bow, but as I see that as one of the main complaints maybe just disable bows while on horseback? Would be against a speed nerf though because that's like the entire point of the kit.
     
    Posted Nov 10, 2019
    Flame, Im_Ken, Xukuri and 1 other person like this.
  4. First off, I wanted to say that this is an extraordinary analysis, and everything is well-though-out and I appreciate objectivity greatly when it comes to determining stuff like this. I'd like to mention right off the bat that I agree with practically everything you say and I personally believe the recent outcry about Horseman being too powerful is fueled not necessarily by the power of the kit itself, but more so because other people are fueling other people. Horseman has barely been touched since it was introduced, and up until a few months ago, there weren't many claims of it being too powerful, but I do see where people are coming from though. Again, I appreciate how you organized this thread and how thorough you were with your analysis, but I just wanted to clarify a couple things that I felt slightly differed from your conclusions.

    1. I would argue that K/D ratio is a better way to determine the viability of different kits rather than W/L. Kits themselves are involved for a vast majority of the deaths a player obtains in a game, and obviously they're involved when it comes to fighting other players. Win/loss ratio takes into account too many other variables and dying to, say, a hacker would affect the W/L ratio far more than it would K/D (and it's easier to maintain a K/D to avoid unexpected occurrences like a hacker from interfering with the overall accuracy of the statistics that you're going to base future claims off of. This point doesn't necessarily argue for or against one side or another in regards to Horseman, but I just wanted to leave it here for future reference.

    1.5. Relating the Horseman argument back up to what I mentioned above, earlier on in the game is when a Horseman is at their most powerful state since the entire map is able to be utilized for its powerful movement capabilities. Early on in the game is also when Horseman is its most powerful in terms of being able to overpower other players. They can generally get more gear faster from chests as well as other players considering everyone's close proximity as well as the fact that nobody necessarily has overpowered gear to fight back. This is where KDR will be greatly increased for the Horseman, for kills will be coming in from all directions. As the game goes on, however, and the remaining players become more and more on par with a Horseman's gear, the kit loses its viability fast. It loses its viability so much, in fact, that once the border's able to be seen from all four directions, it becomes almost entirely useless since it has nowhere to utilize its minimal direct abilities, thus generally killing off the Horseman since they'd be no match against a player with a more powerful kit ability. (note: this is a hypothetical scenario between an average Horseman player with a player with the exact same skill level as the Horseman user; the non-Horseman wins in this scenario every time because of the extra ability they have access to over the Horseman). This is why unless external factors are involved (such as skill/experience variability between the two players), that WLR becomes ineffective when judging the power of a kit.

    2. Being chased/cleaned up by a Horseman is just about all Horseman is good for. If two players of the same skill level go against each other with one on their horse and the other not, the one not on the horse is going to win the melee fight every single time; it's good for mobility, but it's at a severe disadvantage when it comes to being able to utilize for direct player/player combat. Cleaning is a strategy that all players regardless of the maps/kits have to deal with. There's also generally enough cover around on any given point on any given map to being to out-maneuver a Horseman despite the fact that they can go faster. Forcing a Horseman off their horse is all that needs to be done to alleviate much of the power it gets, such as running into a house, through a thick forest, through water etc. You also agreed that this aspect of Horseman isn't all too significant for your own reasons, but I just wanted to elaborate a little on those.

    3. Bowspamming on horseback is only a problem when, like you said, good players do it. There's a much bigger skill gap when it comes to shooting players when mounted on a horse than there is than doing it without the horse. Minecraft is strange when it comes to this, as arrows shot on horseback are very different than normal ones, and it requires almost a complete re-learn of aiming accurately. The larger target that being on a horse creates makes it so that you not only have to worry about you not personally taking damage in a bow battle, but also your horse, for losing your horse means all advantage both in a bow fight and not in a bow fight would be lost. I'd also argue that because of this, the horse itself is not the problem: it's the sheer amount of arrows that players have access to in SG. You touched on this briefly towards the end, but connecting it up to prove that this argument for Horseman being overpowered becomes even less accurate seemed more fitting.

    Like I said, player skill and overall gamesense has a far greater effect on the outcome of a fight than a kit does. Kits like Axeman are considered objectively overpowered because its advantage can be utilized at any time with a minimal cooldown with a far greater DPS than every other kit, whereas Horseman in and of itself is useless whenever the map becomes too small or the horse itself dies. Generally Horseman players are going to have a higher level of skill than the average player since it's an achievement kit, but it's also good to keep in mind that the minimum amount of wins a player has to have to potentially unlock it is a mere 30 wins, which means that players like that are generally going to fall victim to the downfalls of Horseman more so than the best of the best players. Balancing a game should be done by the average of the two extremes: extremely unskilled and extremely skilled, not just off of the players who know exactly what they're doing. Like I said, I think this is a really great analysis and I agree wholeheartedly with your conclusion!
     
    Posted Nov 11, 2019
  5. Posted Nov 11, 2019
    DarkenExcalibur likes this.
  6. Like the person said above me, I agree.
     
    Posted Nov 11, 2019
    DarkenExcalibur likes this.
  7. Fundamentally the kit only provides a mobility advantage, the primary benefit of which is Horseman being able to always run away, which is a pretty minor benefit. Even if Horseman would live in a position where other kits cant, the Horseman still has to kill someone to end the game.

    Horseman virtually cannot fulfill criteria 1 and 3 as you have laid them out
     
    Posted Nov 25, 2019

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